Bachmann’s Pledge

It’s probably inevitable that Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin find themselves getting compared with each other but this piece of news reminds me that, for all her, uh, foibles, the former Alaska governor comes far closer to representing a live-and-let-live “western” conservatism than does the congresswoman from Minnesota:

Michele Bachmann became the first presidential candidate to sign a pledge, vowing to support a constitutional amendment that defines marriage between a man and a woman, and which calls for a ban on all pornography.

“The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family,” sponsored by the Family Leader, an Iowa-based conservative organization, equates same-sex marriage with bigamy and polygamy and calls on candidates to promise to be faithful to their spouses.

The two-page pledge includes a “Declaration of Dependence on Marriage and Family” that blames several factors for the deterioration of traditional marriage including “quickie divorce” and unmarried couples living together. The pledge also describes homosexuality as a choice and not genetic.

A choice? Interesting.

You can see the whole thing here and judge for yourself, but Bachmann’s decision to sign what is, to put it at its kindest, a somewhat clumsily worded pledge has proved more than a little controversial.

As for the attack on “quickie” divorce (to the extent that there is really such a thing), it is idiotic, an example of the pursuit of unhappiness that would serve mainly to enrich lawyers and flimflam counselors.

Then there is this:

[support for] Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.

The clause is poorly written (I had to add that “support for”) and much of it is relatively standard GOP fare, but the inclusion of pornography stands out. If Bachmann is opposed to child pornography and, more generally, coerced participation in pornography, then (quite obviously) fair enough. But it is also possible to read this clause in the way that ABC (inevitably) chose to do – as a declaration of support for a broad taxpayer-funded jihad against what the likes of the Family Leader might consider to be porn. On that topic, I note that the pledge of marital fidelity set out elsewhere in the pledge includes a vow “to resist the lure of pornography destructive to marital intimacy.”


Needless to say, Rick Santorum has also signed.

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